2019 Year in Review

Man, the end of another decade that opened and closed A LOT of chapters. 2010 was the year I officially opened my business and 2020 marks 10 years! Wow.

Looking back at just the last year, I’ll be honest that I’m trying not to let certain events claim the year as negative. It’s hard not to when the pain of losing a family member claimed half of the year. But where there are clouds, the sun will soon come out again. Here are some of biggest headlines:

  • Timberrrrrr: What can I say? I survived the great-tree-falling-incident AND more importantly, all of the repairs. Things could’ve been MUCH worse so complaining about camping out in my bedroom for three months doesn’t seem like that big of a deal in the long run. This chapter taught me a lot of patience and to accept help when I needed it.
  • In January and February, I took a hard look at my diet and decided to make drastic changes. Food can have a negative impact on my body almost immediately after eating certain things. Over a decade of dealing with it, I wanted to have more control of how I felt. January was gluten-free, February was dairy-free, and March was Vegan. Overall, I felt my best without gluten and dairy…but it’s hard to cut it out entirely (especially for a mac n’ cheese lover). I mostly stick to avoiding gluten and dairy during the week when I need to have sharp focus and plenty of energy. I don’t eat a lot of meat anyways so I eat it only when I feel like it.
  • I became more intentional about meditating and spending time reading what would fill my head with good things. We live in a world of constant distraction and many of us are submerged in anxiety. I’ve had to get better about managing stress and found arming myself with knowledge only helps. I read through a pretty strong list of books and in between listened to a select list of podcasts. 2019 was my year to start building a barrier against stress and anxiety.
  • In the Spring, I received the exciting news that one of my wedding clients, Hunter + Kelsey, was going to be on the cover of the bridebook magazine for the next year! At a time where a girl may not feel “on her game,” this was a small reminder that what I do has a purpose and to keep going.
  • In early summer, I did my yearly skin check. Skin cancer runs in my family and unfortunately, I visited the tanning bed more times than I should have when I was a teenager. I had a mole on the top of shoulder that didn’t quite look right and the doctor decided to test it. I mean, it’s really difficult to not be worried and anxious the whole week until the test comes back! Thankfully, it was benign but served as a reminder of proper skin protection and getting yearly skin checks!
  • In July, my best buddy, Ivan, passed away from degenerative myelopathy. Is it terrible to say this made the whole year hard to look back on? I won’t go into specifics here but I wrote a blog on it here.
  • In late summer, we took our first trip to Boone, NC. It’s only a couple of hours from us and I hate I haven’t gone sooner. It’s the cutest mountain town and a nice break from the Charlotte heat. The Mast General Store and Proper are musts.
  • I got weird in 2019 and decided I wanted to perfect my baking skills. Biscuits were up first, followed by bread, and then pies. I learned a lot and man…baking takes ALL of the patience. I’m still working on my baking but overall, I had some successes because I decided making mistakes would be okay and get me closer to perfection!
  • California dreamin’ was my motto in October. I took my first trip to the west coast to a state that everyone said “I would love it!” I sure pop did. We fit in as much as possible while taking a couple afternoons by the ocean to read or just sit in stillness. Weather was perfect, food was great, and the views were amazing.
  • As usual, the holidays came and went quickly. I ended the year with photographing three weddings and a very, very busy fall full of portrait sessions. I photographed my most challenging wedding to date. We’re talking storms, tornado warnings, back up plans, and a damaged camera. It was the sweetest couple so it was totally worth it, can’t wait to share photos with you!

I end all of that to say: it really was a year full of blessings. How wonderful it is to love and care for an animal that brought us so much joy that made the pain of losing them that impactful.

I closed the decade out with another year in my business and with clients that are nothing but loyal year after year.

I traveled for the first time in years and made a lot of great new memories. Those few things are enough to look back and feel joy. Whatever 2019 brought you, I hope you can see the blessings in each chapter and 2020 brings you even more joy!